The Manchester Free Press

Friday • September 25 • 2020

Vol.XII • No.XXXIX

Manchester, N.H.

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Ruminations of a New Hampshire Republican with decidedly libertarian leanings
Updated: 30 min 25 sec ago

ACB

Thu, 2020-09-24 20:28 +0000

As of this writing Amy Coney Barrett is at the top of Trump's list to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.  Barrett is reliably conservative and a Catholic.  That latter fact assures us of a supremely contentious confirmation, since the Catholic position on abortion puts her squarely in the crosshairs of the now insanely leftist Democrat party.  It promises to be an ugly fight, but my gut says Trump wants to have that fight, and have it right now.

It would give President Trump and his Senate Majority Leader McConnell a campaign promise fulfilled — another conservative on the high court.  Moving to confirm Judge Barrett now seems like great election strategy to me.  The Democrat faithful are already promising more riots and looting (which they and their media allies refer to as "peaceful protests") if the nomination of RBG's replacement goes forward.  This comes at bad time for Democrat leaders who've recently noticed in the opinion polls that the "summer of love" was not a huge hit with voters.  So they've turned around to say rioting and looting are not very good and might even be bad, right when the rioting and looting is about to start up again and go right up to election day.  And when it's all over, there won't be a Supreme Court seat hanging in the balance to motivate the leftist voters.  This isn't likely to lead to a Biden victory.

Though this endless battle royal is waged the name of abortion rights, but I've recently come around to the idea that Roe v. Wade fight is not about abortion as much as it is about filling the court with justices who will deliver the outcomes that progressives in congress are unable to deliver legislatively.  The reality is that America is largely conservative, and Americans are divided on the issue of abortion, even Democrats.

The poll had surveyed more than 4,000 people between late July and early August 2019, asking them not only about their attitudes toward abortion but also about whether they agreed with their party’s stance on the issue.

The survey found that 59 percent of self-identified Democrats support some limits on abortion; only 40 percent said abortion should be “legal in all cases.” It also found that 29 percent of Democrats said they either agreed with Republicans on abortion policy or did not agree with either party’s position.

Years ago when I was stationed at St. Albans Air Force Station in Vermont, my girlfriend at the time and I discussed what we might do if precautions failed.  This was before Roe v. Wade.  We decided that one of our options was to drive over through Rouses Point and into New York state where abortion had recently been legalized.  It never came to that.  The point is, states were already moving to legalize abortion when Roe v. Wade was decided, and that's where we are headed again if it's ever overturned.  If that happens abortion will be legal in some states and not in others.  There will be varying levels of restrictions that will be decided upon by legislators and governors in the various states.  In other words, the people will decide through their elected officials what to do about abortion.

Exactly what the left doesn't want.  They've never been able to sell America on the idea that this country should become a socialist Utopia, and for that reason Roe v. Wade means more to progressives than just abortion.  By creating a previously unknown "constitutional right" Roe v. Wade put the issue of abortion beyond the reach of the voters and their elected representatives.  Abortion being such an emotional issue, the left is able to mobilize millions to protest, riot and demand justices that are inclined to dis-empower voters, themselves.  By filling the court with defenders of Roe v. Wade, progressives will create a court, unaccountable to the voters, that decides cases based, not on what the U.S. laws or the constitution say, but on the political winds of the day, or international law, or the influence of liberal billionaires. 

So get ready to hear once again how Republicans are the party of misogyny and the enslavement of women.  Expect more riots and looting.  Democrat leaders have already talked about impeaching Trump and Barr.  Nothing is off the table.  They say they'll add more seats to the Supreme Court and fill them with liberals.  What Democrats really want is to be beyond the reach of the voters, in power permanently.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Pension Funds Start Looking to Gold to Avert Disaster

Wed, 2020-09-02 19:36 +0000

The following article was provided by Stefan Gleason, President of Money Metals Exchange.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Public and private pension plans face a dual crisis.

The first and most obvious threat to pensioners is that defined-benefit vehicles are severely underfunded. By one estimate, pension systems taken as a whole are $638 billion in the red.

Some are in better shape financially than others. But all pension plans will have to reckon with a second huge challenge going forward.

Namely, they are already entirely unable to meet their stated return objectives by owning conventional “safe” interest-bearing instruments such as Treasury bonds.

Fed Declares War on Savers

The Federal Reserve has effectively declared war on savers by vowing to hold short-term interest rates near zero, likely for years to come. Longer-term bond yields also plummeted to record lows (below 1% for most maturities) this year.

An ultra-low interest rate environment is survivable for investors only so long as rates keep falling, thereby generating capital gains on bond holdings that supplement their diminutive coupon payments.

But what happens when the great bond bull market, which has been intact for nearly four decades, reverses? It will be a disaster for the assets of pension funds.

They could reach for yield elsewhere by owning dividend-paying stocks. But an all-equity portfolio would be too volatile for their conservative investing mandate. Even the highest quality stocks got hammered during the virus-induced economic lockdown hysteria this spring.

Market volatility combined with rising liabilities has driven a 6% increase in total adjusted pension debt this year, according to Moody’s Investor Services.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve recently announced that it would be changing its 2% inflation “target” to an “average.” That gives central bankers the policy leeway to begin pushing inflation well above 2% for an extended period. (And let’s not forget the Fed also uses the U.S. Government’s grossly understated inflation statistics.)

Pension Plans CAN Hold Gold – But Only These Two Do

How can pension funds obtain protection from this threat? They can own gold.

Last week, Ohio's $16 billion Police & Fire Pension Fund approved a 5% allocation to the monetary metal. This relatively small gold allocation provides at least some measure of portfolio diversification and could pay off in an outsized way if the gold market enters into a price-compounding mania phase.

Ohio will join Texas, through its Texas Teacher Retirement System, in having the only known public pension programs that hold precious metals.

Each fund appears to be targeting about $1 billion in gold holdings.

Others have been urged to do so, including by the Sound Money Defense League and Money Metals Exchange, whose Sound Money Index ranks all 50 states on whether they hold gold in their pension or reserve funds.

Wyoming, for example, considered and rejected the idea early last year when gold was trading at just $1,300/oz.

In a contentious Wyoming senate hearing in February 2019, the career deputy to the newly elected State Treasurer – having just turned in a staggering $300+ million loss on the state’s controversial investment in Third World debt – scoffed at gold while openly opposing his own boss who had just testified in favor of holding the monetary metal to protect the state.

Unfortunately, precious metals assets represent only about 0.5% of all savings and investments in the United States. The vast majority of pensioners and workers are thus vulnerable, like sitting ducks, to the threat of an inflation outbreak or a meltdown in the financial system.

Studies show investment portfolios that include a 5% to 10% allocation to physical gold over time enjoy higher returns, and, at the same time, less volatility.  So why do so few investment managers hold even an ounce of gold?

The bias against gold runs deep, according to Larry Parks, Executive Director of the Foundation for the Advancement of Monetary Education (FAME): “Money managers, lawyers, actuaries, accountants, and other ‘fiduciaries’ recommend pension plans to not have gold in their portfolios. They say that gold is too risky and too volatile.”

But Parks says the opposite is true: “The real reason they try to discredit gold is that gold pays no fees, which is their principal concern. Thus, they have an inherent conflict of interest with pensioners, who are by law the sole plan beneficiaries. It is a scandal how pension trustees have been misled.”

A Secure Retirement Requires Physical Backup

Those who are now, or later will be, relying on a pension as their primary source of retirement income should develop a fail-safe backup plan.

The agency tasked with backing up pension programs, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, is itself underfunded and could quickly become insolvent in the event of a rise in pension failures.

Of course, the risk of a pension program failing to keep pensioners ahead of inflation is closer to a certainty.

Conventional institutional asset allocation models will be exposed as deficient and even dangerous when their stock and bond portfolios wilt under a period of possible stagflation – an economic trend that investors haven’t had to navigate since the late 1970s.

The ultimate hedge against a regime of currency depreciation and an environment of negative real returns on interest-bearing paper is physical precious metals.

As FAME’s Larry Parks advises, “If you want a secure retirement, you better own some physical gold.”

We would add that if you want the potential for some spectacular real gains in retirement above and beyond what gold delivers, you better own some physical silver as well.

 

Stefan Gleason is President of the Sound Money Defense League, a national grassroots lobbying organization working to restore gold & silver to their historical role as America's constitutional money. He also leads Money Metals Exchange, a national precious metals dealer with over 75,000 customers. Gleason has frequently appeared on national television networks such as CNN, FoxNews, & CNBC, & his writings have appeared in hundreds of publications such as the Wall Street Journal, TheStreet.com, Seeking Alpha, Detroit News, Washington Times, & National Review.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Joe Biden on Gun Control: Understanding Biden's 2020 Platform and the Second Amendment

Mon, 2020-08-17 11:14 +0000

By Sam Jacobs

The one-two punch of the Wuhan Coronavirus explosion, and the civil unrest of early 2020, led to an unprecedented growth in firearms ownership in America. All told, there were about two million firearms sold in the month of March 2020 alone. Between March and July, an additional three million were sold, with about half of those happening in the month of June.

Ammunition sales have similarly spiked, with record sales occurring on this website. However, gun owners don’t need a report to know that there has been a massive surge in demand for ammunition. They need only go down to their local gun store and see that all of the most common rounds are in short supply, sold out or being rationed at the point of sale.

But it’s not just guns and ammo. There has also been a significant increase in the number of Americans obtaining their concealed carry weapons permit and packing on a daily basis. Forbes magazine estimates that 20 million Americans are now carrying as part of their everyday life.

The flipside of this is that Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign has been perhaps the most radically anti-Second Amendment campaign on record. Former Vice President Biden is very proud of his role in spiriting the 1994 gun ban into passage. If he’s elected, we will see an expansion of the power of the federal government and attacks on the rights of Americans that will not be restricted to the ownership of firearms. As president, Biden would resume the Obama-era attacks on the suburbs ended by President Trump, give citizenship (and voting rights) to nearly 30 million illegal aliens and use the Federal Reserve to address a “racial wealth gap.”

However, Biden’s desire to erode the Second Amendment deserves special attention.

Read the rest at Ammo.com.

Categories: Blogs, United States

America's Frontline Doctors

Thu, 2020-08-06 12:11 +0000

America's Frontline Doctors address hydroxychloroquine misinformation.

Frontline Doctors Press Briefer-540p from kelli on Vimeo.

Update 8/6/2020:  For some reason videos that describe the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine keep getting removed by the host site.  Here is another that was uploaded to replace the previously linked video that was taken down.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Biden — The Wild Card Candidate

Mon, 2020-07-13 18:55 +0000

A recent column by Conrad Black describes Joe Biden as "a waxwork dummy hiding in his basement."

In the absence of a feasible presidential nominee, the Democratic campaign is being conducted by the national political media with almost the sole exception of Fox News and its affiliates, the Wall Street Journal and New York Post. The New York Times has at least declared that its objective is not simply to report even-handedly but to oppose the Trump Administration. All the others do the same without acknowledging it.

This is the general and entirely voluntary immolation of the professional integrity of the American news media. The majority of Americans recognize and respond in polls that they think the media is untrustworthy. The unofficial opposition to Trump is an informal alliance between hooligans, terrorists, Democratic urban machine crooks, mudslinging media, and a pernicious virus.

With less than four months before the election, this is the campaign: a constant media carpet-bombing of defamatory lies about the president on behalf of a comatose candidate, propagation of unfounded hysteria over a fading pandemic, self-induced and redundant economic depression, open borders to admit and give free medical care to the unskilled peasantry of the world, and national self-abasement before militant African Americans demanding minority rule and the renunciation and degradation of those who founded the United States and led it to a pinnacle of influence in the world unequaled in all history. And this ludicrous, almost unimaginable, mockery of a quest for the world’s highest office is, in the perversity of these times, apparently leading in the polls.

The very apt title to Mr. Black's column is A Nightmare Campaign of Outright Idiocy, and in it Black predicts that it simply cannot last.  Says Black, "It is impossible and it will blow up."  I can't disagree.  Forget about those polls showing Biden in the lead over Trump.  July opinion polls rarely endure, and with Trump supporters disinclined to talk to pollsters, polling accuracy is almost inconceivable.  The networks and the cable outlets have dutifully filled the breach, propping up Biden and promoting the perception that there is actually a race in progress.  While it never pays to underestimate the absurdities of the Democratic voter, I remain confident that Trump will win, and quite possibly in an epic blowout.

But how on earth did Joe Biden get to be the Democratic party's presidential candidate?  I suspect it was by accident.  A series of unfortunate accidents with the catalytic event, perhaps, being the election of Volodymyr Zelensky in the 2019 Ukrainian presidential election.

Prior to his election Volodymyr Zelensky was an actor who played the role of Ukraine's president in a popular Ukrainian television comedy.  You wouldn't make this stuff up, but there it is.  On April 21, 2019 Zelensky, the reform candidate, defeated the incumbent Petro Poroshenko, a prominent Ukrainian oligarch, in a landslide victory.  A few days later Joe Biden officially entered the race for the Democratic nomination.  This was after months of deliberation.  Why right then?

A year or so earlier Joe Biden bragged to the Council on Foreign Relations how he threatened the Ukrainian government with the loss of a billion dollars in loan guarantees if it didn't fire a prosecutor who was investigating Burisma, a corrupt Ukrainian natural gas company on whose board his son Hunter Biden sat.  The younger Biden was hauling in somewhere between $50,000 and $83,000 per month, totaling $3 million plus, for the presence of his butt in a board of directors chair.  Joe's threat was clearly quid pro quo.  Joe got the law off Burisma's back as a favor to Burisma for Hunter's inordinately generous compensation.  The Poroshenko government could shut down the investigation or lose the billion in loan guarantees.  It got the money.  Except now there was a reformer, Volodymyr Zelensky, heading the Ukrainian government.  Had Poroshenko not lost the election, Joe Biden at 77 might not have felt the same urgency about throwing his hat into the presidential ring.

But he did, mounting an unimpressive campaign for the Democratic nomination, and when it looked as if socialist Bernie Sanders was going to win it, the Democratic powers that be lined up behind Biden, the electable candidate.  Elizabeth Warren was persuaded to stay in the primary races long enough to siphon votes away from front runner Sanders. An apparently reluctant James Clyburn, Democratic Representative of South Carolina, was persuaded to endorse Biden's candidacy, a crucial factor in securing South Carolina's delegates for Joe, setting off a string of victories that propelled Biden to the nomination.

But the moment Joe Biden threw his hat into the ring he created a shield for himself against possible criminal prosecution for his and Hunter's ethically dubious Ukrainian enterprises.  He was a presidential candidate, a Democratic presidential candidate.  As we have seen with Hillary Clinton and her mishandling of classified email, careerists in the U.S. Department of Justice are loathe to disrupt the campaign of a Democratic presidential candidate. 

Whether by accident or by design, Joe's status as a presidential candidate made it possible for a question about Hunter Biden that President Trump asked of President Zelensky to be considered an impeachable offense.  Without Joe running for president, Trump's question about Hunter had nothing to do with the election and could provide no pretext for impeachment.  But Joe got into the race and Democrats seized the opportunity for a second shot at Trump for colluding-with-foreigners-to-rig-a-US-election.  The House voted to impeach President Trump. 

So here I am, wondering if Joe Biden was really all that enthusiastic about running for president this time around, or was it a combination of the immunity it afforded him and the opportunity for Democrats to get Trump that pressured him into it.  He wasn't presidential material when he launched his first short-lived bid in 1987, and age hasn't improved him.  Are the Democrats looking for presidential timber in their candidate, anyway?  Or do they just want something to prop up in office while their globalist sponsors dictate policy? Biden would be the perfect prop, the ideal placeholder president.

There is one thing we know, because Biden has already said it.  There will not be a Biden administration second term.  In fact, I strongly doubt that he will bother to finish a first term, assuming he beats the odds and gets himself elected in November.  Biden is the Wild Card Candidate, and Biden's pick for VP becomes the President-in-Waiting.  With riots and Black Lives Matter so much in the forefront, Biden is reportedly leaning towards a woman of color to be his running mate.  But are there any among them who can inspire confidence in a "waxwork dummy" administration?  What VP candidate, running as the de facto presidential candidate, can carry the election once gaff-o-matic Joe Biden begins his inevitable collapse on the campaign trail?

Back in February Hillary Clinton was on with Ellen Degeneris and she was asked about the vice presidency.

Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres asked the former Secretary of State on Thursday whether she’d agree to be on the ticket of the of the eventual Democratic nominee, if she were asked.

“Well, that’s not going to happen,” Clinton laughed. “But no, probably no.”

Pushed on the question, Clinton, 72, reluctantly said she’d consider it.

“I never say never because I believe in serving my country, but it’s never going to happen,” she said.

Very little has been heard from Hillary since then, and she's not on anybody's list of potential Biden running mates.  But the Vice Presidential Sweepstakes have been under way for months.  The longer they go on the more likely it seems that we'll wait until August and the Democratic National Convention for a dramatic "and the winner is" announcement.  And what could be more dramatic than Hillary Clinton joining the ticket?  With polls currently showing Biden with substantial leads, the Democrats may not realize they're in a tough spot, but if Joe has to come out of his bunker to campaign head to head against Trump before the August convention, that may change.  Hillary might then be seen as the indispensable savior.  With Hillary on the ticket, a vote for Joe would once again be a vote for the Hillary as first woman president in American history. 

A dramatic made-for-Hollywood moment practically writes itself.  Hillary's eleventh hour appearance on the ticket rescues the sinking Biden campaign, powering Joe and Hillary to victory.  Then on January 20, 2021 and the stage is set.  Immediately after taking the oath of office, President Biden stuns the crowd and the country by announcing his resignation.  He steps back, turns to Hillary, and Hillary, herself, steps forward to deliver the Inaugural Address.  America would be delirious with joy.

Or not.

Biden and Clinton would make a perfect match that half of America would despise.  In a Biden-Clinton administration Clinton Foundation fortunes would once again soar.  Hunter Biden would set records for most seats on boards of directors in countries getting massive foreign aid from America. The only downside for Joe Biden is a slightly heightened health risk that increases in direct proportion to the length of time he delays his departure from the Oval Office.

At the moment illegal FBI spying on the Trump campaign, based on improper FISA warrants, and prosecutorial misconduct in the Flynn case are stories that can't be ignored.  Under a Biden-Clinton administration big tech and big media could engineer a cavernous memory hole down which inconvenient news stories, facts, and opinions would disappear forever under the rationale that "misleading information" must be suppressed.  All of those things that we would never have found out about, had Hillary won in 2016, could disappear again.

Potential legal difficulties for the Bidens, the Clintons, and a host of others would disappear.  With constraints removed the FBI and DOJ would once again enjoy great latitude in protecting America from her domestic enemies, just as they have done in recent years with their spying on Carter Page, Sharyl Attkisson, and James Rosen, and their prosecutions of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, George Papadopolous, and General Michael Flynn.  The focus of the Department of Justice would once again be turned to its traditional role of prosecuting Republicans who appear to threaten Democrat political fortunes.

On the foreign policy front America could revive her many previous cordial relationships and reciprocal agreements.  Like the ones where the CIA would spy on their citizens in return for their intelligence agencies spying on Americans.  Iran could get a bomb.  With foreign aid floodgates open to the max, massive aid could be doled out on condition that spending would be directed by well connected non-government organizations who would be well compensated for their efforts.  That's in addition to the billions in aid that simply disappear.  Opportunities would once again abound for the Clinton Foundation and its laundry network.

Standing in the way of this Dream Administration are only the deplorable voters.  Perhaps a minor obstacle.  With many states on the verge of approving mail in voting for the November presidential elections, it might just be possible to correct the predictably erroneous voting by those unsuitable voters.  Election workers could assist those unable, unwilling, ineligible, or even too dead to get to the polls.  As one success builds on another, Democrats will enjoy ever greater popularity.  Could we imagine a time when Democrats become so popular they win one hundred percent of the vote?  Years ago I would never have thought so, but now I'm not so sure.

In 2016 the alliance of Democrats, corporate media, and key members of the administrative state were right on the cusp of achieving the level of control that would assure Democrat "popularity" for years to come.  An obstacle named Trump unexpectedly has delayed them. 

Even more unexpectedly, Trump has successfully resisted all of the Democrats' subsequent efforts to remove him from office.  He wisely avoided the Mueller obstruction of justice trap.  Impeachment was a farce from the word go.  The coronavirus has all but killed the economy, inducing a recession that Democrats hope to extend with lockdowns.  It will recover, as will Trump's re-election prospects.

Four years ago Trump got in the way.  2020 Democrats may turn with desperate hope toward Hillary to prevent him from doing it again.

Categories: Blogs, United States

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